A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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“Life isn’t always tacos and margaritas. But it should be” (2/7)
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Entry from August 09, 2005
MoCA (Museum of Chinese in the Americas) & MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art)
"MoCA" is the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. It was organized in the 1990s. "MoCCA" is the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. It's a new museum, just opened in 2004.

Yes, MoCA and MoCCA sound like a New York City neighborhood nickname (see below entries for those). Yes, they sound like a coffee drink you'll find at Starbuck's. Blame MoMA (Museum of Modern Art).

History of MoCA
The Museum of Chinese in the Americas (MoCA) is the first fulltime, professionally staffed museum dedicated to reclaiming, preserving, and interpreting the history and culture of Chinese and their descendants in the Western Hemisphere.

Hailed by the Smithsonian Magazine as "a cultural rescue mission to save a little-known immigrant heritage," MoCA documents an immigrant community that arrived in the Americas with few possessions but very big dreams.

After more than 20 years of collecting artifacts, archival and library materials, we are proud to be stewards of one of the most important national archives of materials about Chinese life in America. From rare papers to priceless artifacts, we hold many unusual and unique items indispensable for understanding this contemporary history.

The Museum of Chinese in the Americas (MoCA) began as a community-based organization founded in 1980 by Jack Tchen and Charlie Lai and Chinese American artists, historians and students who felt that the memories of first-generation "old-timers" would be lost without oral history, photo documentation, research, and collecting efforts. Now a focal point of the community's cultural life, the Museum has evolved into not only the keeper of the community's documented history, but the community's cultural history as well.

MoCA is located downtown in the heart of Manhattan's Chinatown on the second floor of the historic, century-old school building that was once Public School 23. Opened in November 1, 1893, and closing almost exactly 83 years later in October 1976, Public School 23 was built during the great tides of reform activity of the late 19th century, as New York struggled to educate the new waves of immigrants entering the city. Now as Chinatown begins to recover from the events of September 11th, MoCA envisions itself to be the cultural and historical cornerstone, curator, educator, exhibitor and research center of not only Manhattan's Chinatown, but for all Chinese of many nationalities located in the Americas.

Museum of Chinese in the Americas
70 Mulberry St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013

How do I know this isn't some flash-in-the-pan operation? Other museums like this have come and gone over the years.

Well, for one thing, we have a really catchy acronym. smile


The purpose of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art will be the collection, preservation, study, education, and display of comic and cartoon art. Every genre of the art will be represented: animation, anime, cartoons, comic books, comic strips, gag cartoons, humorous illustration, illustration, political illustration, editorial cartoons, caricature, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and computer-generated art. Further, the museum's rigid collection policy ensures that the art collections will be maintained in an environment of the highest integrity.

It will be the mission of the museum to promote the understanding and appreciation of comic and cartoon art as well as to detail and discuss the artistic, cultural, and historical impact of what is the world's most popular art form. Comics and cartoons have been instrumental in effecting significant dialogue on issues involving society, culture, philosophy, and politics. History has shown them to be instrumental in documenting--and interpreting--historic events and social change. Artistically, comic and cartoon art is created at the highest levels by some of the world's finest graphic illustrators.

The main goal of the museum will be to educate the public about comic and cartoon art, how it is crafted, and how it reflects history. What does the art tell us about the time period that it was created in? How does it stand the test of time? What First Amendment issues regarding content come into play? How does censorship determine what is (and isn't) published?

We are fully aware of the challenges involved in such an endeavor, but such is our passion for the subject that we are intent on putting together an expert team to make it work. Toward that end, we are recruiting the best people for the purpose of creating this museum. A major New York law firm and CPA firm are working with us, pro bono. At the same time, we are enlisting those parties who can assist us in articulating the idea further. We are happy to report that of the many people involved in this field we have contacted so far, to a man they are unanimous in their enthusiasm for the project.

We are contacting you in the hopes that we can avail ourselves of your expertise and would be thrilled with your involvement in any capacity. We welcome your feedback and comments on this site and about the museum. Please e-mail. Thank you for your time and attention.

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is chartered by The State Education Department, organized and operated as defined in Section § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Where is the museum located?

The gallery of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is located at 594 Broadway, Suite 401 (4th Floor) between Houston and Prince Streets, in the heart of Manhattan's famed SoHo arts district.

To get there by subway:

By subway:
6 to Bleecker St or Spring St,
N, R to Prince St,
F, V, S to B'way-Lafayette St

As of this writing (March, 2004) we've just moved into this new space, so we will be open only for specific events on the times and dates listed on our web site.

Beginning in the fall, however, call (212) 254-3511 to learn when we're open so you can view our exciting new exhibits!

Our mailing address is:

Suite 401
594 Broadway
New York NY 10012
Posted by Barry Popik
Work/Businesses • (0) Comments • Tuesday, August 09, 2005 • Permalink